Most S’poreans will take 45 minutes tops to commute to work by 2040

Much greater convenience and accessibility in the future.

Ashley Tan | Sponsored | June 11, 2019, 08:41 PM

Ever lamented about the treacherously long commute to and from work every weekday?

Or how using public transport can be such a hassle for the wheelchair-bound and a health hazard thanks to the exhaust fumes from *cough* buses *cough*?

There are some impending changes to Singapore’s land transportation which I'm sure you would be glad to hear.

LTA's master plan

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) recently announced the launch of their Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) 2040, on May 25, 2019.

LTMP 2040 details various long-term plans to make the transport system more "convenient, well-connected, inclusive and fast", over the next 20 years.

In addition to public transport, such as taking the MRT or buses, Singaporeans now have more travel options to get to their destinations.

Currently, more Singaporeans are taking up active mobility, such as the use of personal mobility devices (PMDs) and shared transport modes like private hire cars and car-sharing services like Grab.

In the LTMP 2040, active mobility and public transport modes have been collectively dubbed Walk-Cycle-Ride (WCR) modes.

If you’re still confused, here’s a nifty graphic summarising the various modes of transport under WCR.

Photo courtesy of LTA

Here’s how Singaporeans from different walks of life can stand to benefit from the master plan’s new transport developments.

For almost all Singaporeans

Busy Singaporeans will spend less time on travelling in the future.

As of 2016, the average commute to workplaces is more than 50 minutes, and in 2019, only two-thirds of commutes are completed within 45 minutes.

Come 2040, Singaporeans can look forward to reaching their neighbourhood centres within 20 minutes.

That means you can run errands at supermarkets and shops or go to a polyclinic in less than 20 minutes via walking, cycling or riding public transport.

Similarly, you will be able to walk, cycle or ride to your workplaces in business parks, central business districts and industrial areas in 45 minutes or less by 2040.

New MRT stations

Hoping for a faster journey to work especially during the peak hour?

Here is some good news.

In order to reduce travel times, an expansion of the MRT network is currently in the works.

Commuters staying at places like Tengah, Woodlands North, Loyang and Yew Tee can look forward to more convenience with the new Thomson-East Coast Line, Jurong Region Line, Cross Island Line, and the Downtown  Line Extension.

Photo courtesy of LTA

LTA is also studying the feasibility of another as-of-yet named MRT line, which will serve areas like Sembawang, Serangoon North, Whampoa and Kallang.

Faster bus commutes and shorter waiting times too

It’s not just about the MRT, buses too!

As part of the master plan, LTA will be implementing more Transit Priority Corridors (TPCs) which will allow buses to move more quickly.

TPCs can come in the form of bus-only roads, dedicated bus lanes, or signal-priority buses.

For those who are looking for a more caring and gracious commuting culture

LTMP 2040 has plans in the pipeline to make travelling easier for people with mobility needs.

As of today, all bus interchanges and MRT stations are already equipped with lifts or ramps, and the elderly or the wheelchair-bound have at least one barrier-free access route.

Photo courtesy of LTA

By 2020, wheelchair-users can expect all bus stops in Singapore to be barrier-free, and all public buses to be wheelchair-friendly.

Photo courtesy of LTA

Screens displaying route information will also be installed in all buses, and this will come with audio announcements that will benefit all commuters, especially seniors and the visually-impaired.

Transport workers will also undergo training which will equip them with skills needed to help those with special needs board and alight public transport.

For the elderly, expectant mothers, parents with strollers, and wheelchair-users, all MRT stations will have priority queues by 2019.

For those with metal straws

In the near future we will also welcome greener buses. Not just the green ones you see on the road now.

Here's a new development that might please environmentalists in Singapore.

According to the master plan, LTA plans to transform the entire fleet of public buses in Singapore to ones that run on cleaner energy by 2040.

Right now, almost all public buses run on diesel fuel.

In a move to make Singapore's public transport system more clean and green, 50 diesel-hybrid buses have been on trial since December 2018, while another 60 fully electric buses will arrive by 2020.

Here's what one of the hybrid buses looks like.

Photo courtesy of LTA

Both types of buses are more sustainable.

Singaporeans can thus look forward to lesser smog and smoke choking the streets, as well as smoother and quieter rides.

A welcome step forward for sustainability.

For those who are health conscious

If you're one of those that love fresh juices, avoids oily, greasy foods and goes for a run every day, you'll be pleased to know that LTA is supporting healthier lifestyles too.

In a push to encourage commuters to be more physically active, more pathways connecting homes and amenities will be created.

LTA has plans to further expand the cycling path network to more than 1,000km by 2040—adding on to the 700km of paths the agency has already committed to build by 2030.

This means more opportunities to walk or cycle to your destinations if you prefer to do so.

Future development areas such as Kampong Bugis, Jurong Lake District and Woodlands Regional Centre will have more space dedicated to WCR modes of transport as compared to roads or car parks for private cars.

Cycling enthusiasts can also expect more dedicated cycling paths, bicycle parking facilities and end-of-trip facilities like showers, lockers and drying stations.

Peace out with pedestrians and drivers.

Photo courtesy of LTA

And if the hot sun deters you from walking anywhere, 150km of covered linkways will be added between MRT stations, residential areas and amenities by 2040.

So, no more excuses to get your butt off the seat and get moving!

You can read the full LTMP report here.

This sponsored post by the Land Transport Authority makes the author want to shed some pounds by cycling.